A small archipelago in Nagasaki with mystical charm and abundant scenic spots, the Iki Island is also home to reputable shochu (Japanese hard liquor) distilleries that remain faithful to its traditional methodology. The “Iki Shochu” is among the few top liquors to earn high recognition from World Trade Organization (WTO) and an authentic certification, but despite its world-class status and a rich history that dates back to the 16th century, the shochu’s origin is humble in all aspects. The beverage was made from Iki -grown barley and rice malt, distilled on the homes of farmers and local islanders. To the present day, the tradition passes on, and the Ikinokura Distillery still honors and firmly retains Iki’s unique sake-making technique. The distillery has been operating for 30 years to produce the best quality of shochu of Iki provenance —with the sweetness of rice malt and fragrant barley, the mugischochu (barley-based shochu) goes over eight rigorous steps before cask-aged for a clean-tasting flavor comparable to a single-malt whiskey. Mellow, smooth, with hints of vanilla for some, Iki Shochu indeed balances out every meal.